You’ve cracked the Vault. The final showdown is among us. A Thousand Voices have been talking in your ear nonstop. It’s really getting annoying. It is time to face Riven. This is a long guide, so timestamps to certain parts are in the description. We’ll go over the entire fight first, then how it’ll flow. Team composition should focus on add control and defensive abilities. For the first time in I don’t know how long, if ever, I am recommending Sentinel over Sunbreaker for its defensive capabilities and slaying potential. If you’re of a high enough level, dare I say Thundercrash is good as well for a certain part of the encounter.
Well of Radiance is VERY nice to have if you have one. Otherwise, Tethers will be excellent when first learning the encounter and are generally a good idea to have. In terms of weaponry, can you believe that Whisper is the best thing for this fight? Unbelievable, I know. Longer range weapons like pulses are the perfect sweet spot, along with, yes, I’m saying it, maybe even bows to kill Hobgoblins. Shotguns aren’t bad either. Riven has many mini-encounters you must get through in order to damage her, although you will also be damaging her constantly through the fight in small chunks.
Let’s start with the blue and yellow rooms. You’re going to split your team into 3s, 3 for blue and 3 for yellow. The only difference between the rooms is that the blue room has slightly more cover, which makes dodging certain things a tiny bit easier. When you first enter your room, 1 of 3 things will happen. 1) Riven will spawn in your room and start breathing fire.
2) Riven will spawn in your room and have her tentacles at the ready. 3) Riven does not show up in your room. The goal of this sequence if you have Riven in your room is to stagger her so that 2 of her eyes glow when she leaves. You will relay this information to your team however you so choose, while the other team will damage her as much as possible before shooting the two correct eyes. So how do you stagger Riven? Well, if she’s breathing fire, then you need to shoot her in the mouth when it glows red, which is after she breathes fire at someone in the room.
The damage you need to deal is cumulative, it doesn’t need to be all in one shot, although it is easier to just burst her. If she has her tentacles out, then you need to bait a tentacle slam attack by waiting under one of them until it glows, then getting out of the way. When it slams down and glows red, that’s when it is vulnerable. Be aware that if you’re on the ground when the tentacle slams, it’ll knock you into the air, so jump right before. The tentacle should try to be bursted as well so that you don’t need to bait a bunch of times. The radius of the slam attack is much bigger than it seems, so be careful. If you stagger her correctly, two eyes will glow. Mark these down however you want because if the other team doesn’t get this information or gets wrong information, you will die unless you get a lucky guess.
The team that does not have Riven will have an Eye of Riven spawn in their room which will drop a Taken Essence. When you pick this up, if you look towards the back of the room, you’ll see a symbol, the same one, displayed 5 times. In these rooms will also be a giant window toward the back of the room. When you look through the window, you’ll see a LOT of different symbols in various positions on the stairs. The person in the window needs to guide the person with the Essence to the correct icon so that the elevator in the pathway behind the room activates and you can go up. You cleanse your icon using the grenade ability, same as the cyclone from Morgeth. Note that both sides will have to do this, the difference is when you do it. If your side did not have Riven, after the other team staggers her, she will come to your side and prepare an attack. You’ll have an opportunity to do some damage by shooting her in the mouth. Takes these DPS opportunities seriously, while it might not seem like much, these damage phases add up over time.
When her mouth closes, that’s when you should shoot the 2 eyes that you were told to shoot. If that works, she’ll go upstairs and you should do the same. Both teams should try to go up at the same time if possible. Once you ride the elevator up, the sides will switch, so if you had Riven first in the floor below, you’ll have her second this time. This sequence works the same way. Once you clear this room, you’ll head back up to the start room. You’ll then need to do the stagger sequence as a full team 3 times for 3 pairs of eyes as she goes around the room, starting on the right side of the yellow side. During this sequence, you will have Taken Goblins and Ogres spawning. The goblins aren’t a big deal, but they will make the Ogres immune and the Ogre eye beam will physically push you backwards and deal a lot of damage.
After you have 3 pairs of eyes, you’ll prep for one more damage phase, then shoot all 6 of the marked eyes to stun her for the final time. At THIS time, players should head back to their original plates to prepare for one more opportunity to deal a lot of damage. Creeping Darkness will start to set in, which is a debuff that stacks quickly, about 1 per second. If this ever reaches 10 stacks, you will die. Standing on any plate cleanses your stacks. When everyone gets back onto their plates, you’ll go back down, but you’ll have to opportunity to shoot at weak spots on Riven herself. These deal big chunks of damage to Riven. As you start to fall and kill more, the weak spots will spawn Axion Darts that will float towards players that popped the weak spot. Getting hit by 1 or 2 isn’t a big deal, but getting 4 or 5 of them on one person is usually death, so you need to make sure to shoot them down. Once you land, the entire sequence starts over again.
You should aim to complete this in 2 damage phases.\par When you manage to get Riven to that bar towards the end of her health, you will isntantly be teleported to the Ascendant Realm, where you will need to platform your way up to a single Taken Strength node at the end of the path. There will be Taken Phalanx in your way trying to boop you off, these guys should be killed immediately. You will also be losing health over time, so you need to move quickly, your health will not regenerate. About halfway through, you’re going to need to make a 180 to continue progress, we’ll go over that later. When you touch the Taken Strength orb, the entire team will be teleported back to the main room, where you’ll do your final stand.
Shoot her in the mouth until she dies. THEN, nope, still not done, you will jump into her mouth and go down the path to shoot the Taken Blight inside. Killing THIS is the end of the encounter. Alright, so that was a lot to go over, let’s talk about the strategy and the flow of the encounter now. When you first enter the room, you’ll be greeted by about 8 psions or so and 4 hobgoblins, 2 on each side.
Note that you don’t have unlimited time to get to your rooms, so move quickly. The left side usually spawns them a little bit before the right side. If you have a tether, now is a good time to use it. If you are starting with Riven, you’ll have psions spawning in throughout, they spawn in various amounts per spawn, as few as 1, up to 4 at a time. They’re 580 power, so they hurt. After Riven leaves, you will have 4 more hobgoblins spawn along with your Eye of Riven. If you start without Riven, you’ll also start with 4 hobgoblins and 8 or so psions, but then will very shortly after have another wave of hobgoblins spawn, along with your Eye of Riven.
As for how to handle the timing of sending Riven, that can be done in a couple of different ways. You don’t get unlimited time with Riven because eventually, she will just leave and if you didn’t stagger her, then again, unless you get lucky with the eyes, you wipe. So, you can do it 1 of two ways. 1) Team 1 waits to send Riven until you hear icon callouts from team 2 or 2) team 1 sends her right away and team 2 does their icon cleansing after dealing damage and having her leave. In the first example, you do basically what I just said: communicate with the other team to find out when to properly time shooting Riven to send her over. The problem with this strategy is that if team 2 takes too long on their icon cleanse, then team 1 will either not get the eye information or will send her in the middle of the icon cleanse, potentially blocking your ability to get the cleanse. This strategy relies on quick, smooth icon cleansing callouts. In the second example, team 1 will kill all of their adds, kill another add wave so that there’s nothing there and then send her immediately, while team 2 listens for when she is being sent, kills their Eye of Riven and does DPS FIRST, then their icon cleanse.
Remember that the Taken Essence stays on the ground for 45 seconds and even if it times out, a new Eye will spawn. The problem with this strategy is that both teams may be doing their icon callouts at the same time, leading to some potential communication problems. Ultimately, which strategy you pick completely depends on your team’s preference as both work just fine. Speaking of callouts, we need to establish callouts for both shooting eyes and cleansing icons.
I’ve seen many different eye charts and callouts on the internet and it really doesn’t matter what you use, BUT. My team uses the following chart for eye callouts. We go in a Z pattern for the left side eyes, like how you would normally just read things, while the right side goes from left to right. This is what has worked for my team, we like it, so there ya go. As for staircase callouts, we have the following grids. Good callouts are a big deal here. The more time you spend saying “up up up, no left left, no other left, down, down, down,” the less time you get dealing with Riven upstairs. Simple callouts and memorizing those callouts will go a long way. Be sure to try to go upstairs together if possible when going from the first floor to the second. When you’re on the second floor, you want to just go up the elevator immediately.\par When all the way up, tethers, Sentinels and Wells of Radiance reign supreme here. You want to be chaining supers as much as possible here to suppress ogres since they really hurt.
Thundercrash at higher levels will one shot ogres. As for spawn locations, the first wave will be before Riven, with Ogres spawning on the blue and yellow middle plates. The next wave will spawn with Riven, Riven will be in the right side yellow slot, with an ogre on your right when facing the boss and another behind you. Try to kill ogres before going for a stagger, the staggers work the same way as when you’re downstairs, except you only get about half the normal time.
That means you only get 3 fire breath attacks to stagger and only a few seconds to bait a tentacle attack. You will likely bait a tentacle attack if you’re a Sentinel fighting adds near her, so be aware of that. Clear communication here is key. You will then go clockwise around the room two more times. Wave 3 will spawn ogres on her left and right, while wave 4 will spawn them left of boss and then up on a ramp on the right, we call this top shelf ogre.
After you have gathered 3 sets of eyes, it is time to DPS. How you choose to split the eyes is up to you. My team assigns 1 eye per person, but we also get into pairs for back up. So, player 1 would shoot eye 1 and player 2 would shoot eye 2, but both players would look out for eyes 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6, this is just to have a backup in place in case someone dies or gets flinched. DPS can take place where ever you feel most comfortable, I have two spots. One is right in the middle of the room, using the cover as much as possible since 2 ogres will spawn during the DPS phase, one at top shelf and one to your right if you’re facing her. You will probably be ignoring these ogres, so use Titan walls and other cover to hide because they WILL mess you up. The pros to DPSing so close is that you can shoot your eye much easier, con is that you have to stand near ogres who can potentially flinch you and mess you up.
If you miss an eye here, it’s a wipe. You can also DPS in the very far back on the opposite side of her. Pros, no ogres, cons, you need to snipe your eye and it’s harder to hit. If you’re using Whisper of the Worm, you can safely get in 9 shots if you start shooting right away, with 12 shots being the most I would ever go for. The biggest thing here is to make sure you get your eye by whatever means necessary.
If that means stopping damage early, then do it. When you get your eyes down, players should start rotating towards their original plates. There will still be 2 ogres up, these need to be killed, so just be cognizant of your positioning. If you happen to be in the wrong spot, that’s ok, because every plate cleanses Creeping Darkness. Cleanse first, then move. When you go back to your plates, you’ll fall back down, this time with the ability to shoot the weak spots on Riven. When you start, no axion dart will be spawning, but as you drop down and kill them, they’ll start spawning.
2 tips, number 1, hold whatever input will move you backwards and number 2, try not to shoot eyes directly in front of you. Darts will typically go to the person who shot the weak spot and if you shoot 2 spots directly in front of you towards the end, well, you’re probably going to die. Do not be afraid to pop your super to survive because a death here means on the fly callouts to get people res’d, which means you’re going to have people switching teams to get those resses and you want to avoid that if possible. When entering the ascendant realm, you want to kill all phalanx in your way. Pop a sentinel super if you have one and lead the way. You do not regen health here, so what my team will do is gather on the rock where you turn around and have a Dawnblade use a healing grenade to give everyone an overshield and then keep going.
Once you touch the Taken Strength, you’ll be teleported back, you’ll shoot her in the mouth until she dies. And then you go inside of her mouth. Yep. Just walk right in there, go all the way down and shoot the blight. When this dies, you’ll get a key to a chest. Only problem is that you’re technically not done, although you have the checkpoint now, so dying after this point will reset you to here.\par THIS is the final encounter, where you need to take Riven’s heart to the Techeun to be cleansed.
So, let’s explain this one. The heart will choose people at random. If you are chosen, you hold the heart. The heart does the following: it cleanses people of Creeping Darkness and it disables all abilities of the holder, so that’s no shooting, no abilities, no second jump. All you can do is walk forward and use a regular jump. Your team needs to protect you as you all run the gauntlet back to the Vault, you only job is to hold forward as much as possible. Creeping Darkness works the same way: 10 stacks and you die. The chosen person will also have a timer ticking down and as the timer ticks down, the radius of the aura for cleansing Creeping Darkness gets smaller and smaller until it’s basically nothing. When the timer runs out, you are sent to what is being called the rainbow room. Not only is the heart holder sent there, but anyone standing next to the heart holder is also teleported.
The heart will also teleport anyone who gets too close to the ball immediately after a teleport, so give it a second. The rainbow room is actually inside of the heart itself. Inside of the rainbow room are tons of adds and Mights of Riven who will attack you this time, although the amount of adds scales up based on the number of people in the heart, so when first starting, it’s not bad at all. The heart will choose a new player, that new players picks up the heart and you keep going. Inside of the rainbow room are Taken Strength buffs. When ALL of the Taken Strength buffs in the rainbow room are picked up, the timer of the heart is reset to 15 seconds.
You can extend the timer once per person. The amount of Taken Strength that spawn is equal to the number of players inside of the heart. So, first person inside will have 1 Taken Strength, then 2, and so on. So, you want to be grabbing the last buff when the timer is low, the heart holder should be counting down the entire time so that the rainbow room can pick up the Taken Strength. You should pick them up in between 2-3 seconds remaining as it takes the game a second to register that you actually picked it up. The general rule of thumb that I go by is that the first person teleported in always grabs the last buff, that is your job the whole time. If you’re asking if you can pick up all but 1 of the Taken Strength, saving one until 2 seconds left, the answer is yes you can and yes, you should do that.
Just communicate who is grabbing what. Again, while inside the rainbow room, the only objectives are to pick up Taken Strength and stay alive. There will be a LOT of adds spawning. Feel free to just keep running around the room in circles, popping supers, using heavy ammo, whatever you need to do to just stay alive.\par The first room on the outside is the hardest since you have Centurions throwing darts at you and if you’re low power, these are a one shot, so darts need to be shot and killed, with Centurions being absolute priority targets. There are 3 in the first room, to your immediate left, then in front of you, then at the doorway of the next room. Try to stay towards the left if possible. If more than 1 person dies on the outside or is teleported early, you probably won’t have enough people to make it to the end, so if you start with 2 deaths or an accidental teleport, you may just want to wipe and try again. Encounter flow is as follows: the first person will pick up the heart and drop it right before the exit out of Riven, then be teleported.
The second person will pick up the heart and start moving, while everyone else kills adds, specifically focusing Centurions. Tethers and offensive supers are the way to go here. The second person will be counting down their timer and when it gets to 3, the first person in the rainbow room will pick up a Taken Strength, extending the timer. In terms of pace, the heart holder should be around the next doorway when you extend the timer. After that reset, the second holder will be teleported inside and you will repeat this process until you deliver the heart.
When you get to the room with the platforms, you should jump on these platforms as being on the black crystal will damage you. Players NEED to kill all of the adds, even thrall will hurt really bad. When you get to the Vault room, either the Forest or Spire route will be open. If it’s the Forest, hug right and go into the tunnel, if it’s Spire, hug left and go into the tunnel. The goal here is to get to the Temple room, you have to go all the way around. When you get to the Temple, you’ll drop down the gap and go up the main staircase, it’ll be lit up. Keep walking up the stairs and your character will deliver the heart, teleporting everyone. Congratulations, you have beat Last Wish and can go grab some loot. I want to thank Math Class again for putting in so much time and helping me with these guides, I want to thank my Discord with their peer review of these videos, thank you Bungie for giving us what I think is the best raid we’ve ever gotten, and you, for watching.
If you enjoyed this guide, a positive rating is appreciated. I’ll see you next time. .
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